Scattergories Categories is a new variant on the Scattergories word game. Published by Winning Moves, the game challenges players to find words that begin with the letters making up the category name. So for example, when the category is “road trip,” players need to come up with words beginning with R-O-A-D-T-R-I-P. Just like the original Scattergories, points are accumulated for each unique answer.

The game’s designer, Kim Vandenbroucke, has been a reader and regular commenter on Purple Pawn, so I thought it a great opportunity to find out more about the game’s origin.

You’re a professional game designer. How did this project come about? And what was it like taking on such a well-established brand?

I love word games and just couldn’t get this idea of a vertical word challenge out of my head but initially the idea for Scattergories Categories wasn’t for the Scattergories brand. It was a small mini-game in a larger game concept but in a client meeting it was obvious that this small segment of the game was just too big of an idea to stay as a mini-game. It was kind of a “duh” moment and was obvious that it would be a great extension for the Scattergories brand.

What was your goal with this variant on the Scattergories game? Was there something you were trying to accomplish or a particular experience you were trying to create?

I have enjoyed playing Scattergories for years but I always found the 12 category cards limiting. Sure, you use different letters each time but now I feel like I’ve been tackling the same categories over and over. With Scattergories Categories, you get a different category in every round and with 250 different ones it’s going to be a LONG while before you repeat a card. Having tons of categories was something that really appealed to me even before I had the “duh, this should be a Scattergories game” moment. The variety of topics really keeps the game fresh.

Well, it’s obvious to me that Scattergories Categories is as much a result of Kim’s love of playing games as it is her job to design them.